IFP, DA, EFF leaders in eThekwini metro say they want ANC out

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  • Opposition parties in the eThekwini metro say they will not vote with the ANC on Wednesday.
  • They described the ruling party's actions in disrupting Monday's council meeting as disgraceful.
  • The opposition says parties will have to decide if they want to put themselves or the people of Durban first.

It's round two of the battle for control of the hotly contested eThekwini metro, with opposition parties indicating they do not intend siding with the limping ANC, instead leaving the door wide open for a new dispensation.

The previous eThekwini council sitting to swear in councillors and elect the mayor, speaker and deputy mayor was marred by disruptions on Monday.

READ | Upshot of elections in Limpopo: DA mayor installed in Thabazimbi, ANC infighting in Makhado

This after it became clear that ANC mayoral candidate Mxolisi Kaunda would not have enough votes to take up the mayoral chain.

ANC members began raising frivolous points of order before a group of supporters stormed the meeting at Moses Mabhida Stadium, despite a heavy police and metro police presence.

With no action from security, the meeting quickly collapsed. It will now reconvene on Wednesday afternoon, this time at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Durban in the hopes of improving security.

IFP caucus leader in the city Mdu Nkosi said the party's decision to dump the ANC was well-received by their supporters.

"After the IFP decided to change its stance [on working with the ANC], people are more than happy. They are saying they have had enough of the ANC, and they want to see new leadership in eThekwini. We are expecting that today (Wednesday) we will do the will of the people."

He said the interruptions on Monday showed ratepayers the ANC's true colours in eThekwini.

"If you are a ruling party, there are things you are not supposed to do. It was live on Facebook, taxpayers were viewing this. They were not elected to do what they did. If you are losing, just accept [it]. People indicated during the election on 1 November that they don't want the ANC anymore. For them to try to cling onto power, it's not something that I can say is an integrity move," Nkosi added.

DA caucus leader in the metro Nicole Graham, who has been tipped as a mayoral candidate for the metro, said hard work was required to fix the state of the city.

"I think whatever happens today or over the next five years, it is going to be an incredibly complicated situation. I have no illusions about that. Whether we or the ANC wins, it will be a bumpy road ahead. The reality is that is a hung council and a city that's gotten a myriad of problems."

She said it would take "maturity, rationality and common purpose to get things done".

"There is a lot going on behind the scenes. The reality is we contend with a clear consciousness. We are putting our offer on the table as the opposition party, and people must decide if they want to work with us or if they want to elect the ANC back into office. It is a simple choice – elect a new government or re-elect the ANC and live with the consequences."

Graham said the DA will have a far bigger role than they've ever had in the governance of the city and "that is really what we are focusing on".

She said the shenanigans of the ANC on Monday was disgraceful.

"The ANC has been working non-stop to try to pick off as many opposition parties as they can. They know if the vote went ahead on Monday, they would have lost. I think they have 27 seats, held by 20 parties in the council. There is a big margin for manoeuvring. That is what they are trying to do. There is money and positions and all sort of things put on the table. People must decide did they get into politics for the people of the city or personal outcome," she added.

EFF caucus leader Themba Mvubu said opposition parties had no other option but to "unite".

Mvubu added:

The ANC does not want to relinquish power. They want to hold onto power by any means possible. Even if it means they are going to intimidate, they are going to do that. It's despicable, as a new councillor in this council, I was taken aback. I have never witnessed this, and it was so embarrassing.

He said Monday's events were well-orchestrated.

"Upon realising the opposition united against them, we were subjected to deliberate sabotage. We had just been sworn in [as councillors], saying that we will uphold and respect our positions, but it all went out the door when they realised they would not be in power," Mvubu said.

The council meeting is set to start on Wednesday at 14:00 at the ICC.

Stay updated with News24's latest coverage, opinion and analysis of Elections 2021. Check out results from the previous municipal elections.

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